AIFW’s exteriors were a far cry from last year’s dingy brown and Pepto Bismol-pink motif that seemed to inflict the moods of everyone in its presence. Instead, a sprightly hot-pink carpet welcomed Delhi’s most stylish to a sartorial Disneyland in which every Instagrammable corner provided the perfect backdrop for #ootds. Enthusiastic fashion-goers rushed to snap themselves in front of photogenic industrial settings and vibrant graphic walls before killing time in between shows at the complimentary Absolut Vodka booths.
Following suit from fashion weeks around the globe, FDCI photographers focused their attention on capturing street style’s finest. Attendees opted for polished, well thought out ensembles in contrast to last year’s bold, avant-garde aesthetic. Some of our favourite looks: a confident, well-groomed gentlemen in 100mm-plus stilettos and a grandiose floor-sweeping skirt. Another woman lowered her eyes to show us the polka dots she had prudently painted onto her eyelids (more of our favourite street style can be seen at @missmalinifashion).
Bollywood showstoppers were more devoid than ever before, but it didn’t matter. This season was not so much about the glitz and glamour that most of us glimpse from afar. Rather, this fashion week was about us: The masses who make up the industry—Whether designing, blogging, or styling from 9-5, or keeping design houses afloat by breathing life into our wardrobes each season. So while the rest of the world appears to be a disarray of political turmoil, cultural intolerance, and environmental crisis, you can always count on fashion to help you find your happy place.
Here’s a look at our 10 favourite collections from AIFW SS18:
Samant Chauhan’s collection may have been inspired by the medieval ages, but his designs could not be more relevant to women today. Prismatic florals (influenced by stained glass windows in Parisian chapels) were embroidered onto ivory fabric. The collection’s darlings included an enigmatic hooded gown, strips of fabric manipulated to form architectural patterns on full skirts, and trains fit for the most elegant western-style wedding.
Most fashion lovers will attest that style is an art form—And more so when art printed on fabric becomes the main attraction. Whether it be childlike doodles or lifelike sketches, Gupta celebrates the act of creativity. These pleasant prints on simple cotton and silk styles are perfect for those who like to collect art, or clothes.
There’s nothing worse than the discontinuation of your go-to product—So we can appreciate when designers stay true to their signature esthetics. More so, when the task is accomplished without becoming predictable. While Kochhar presents his usual asymmetrical silhouettes and clusters of romantic embroidery, his “Rooh” collection provides clients with a fresh new take on spring. We love that he didn’t take his “jungles of India” theme too literally—Instead reinterpreting exotic foliage through textured applique, sheer organza, and delicate hues.
Vineet Bahl’s “Meitei” collection shifts from one extreme to another—Beginning with bright geometrics, easing into subdued stripes, then pulling a U-turn into garden florals—all competing for our attention with their bold shades mind you. It might sound like a mess, but the collection comes together full circle when layered with one another. This march-to-the-beat-of-your-own-drum collection screams (while jumping up and down waving it’s arms at you) quirky style at it’s most playful. What do they call it, organized chaos?
Girly ruffles in fluid fabrics and ladylike scallops in muted tones may give the impression of a well-behaved woman, but Archana Rao’s muse has an edgy side about her. The designer molds and tweaks basic styles into iterations that play out well in a world in need of more eccentrics. These innovative updates take form in the shape of intricate embroidery, leather cutwork, and mesh detailing for a more adventurous and whimsical feel.
When you sit for Rajesh Pratap Singh, there are a few things you expect to see: superbly tailored blazers, structured silhouettes that defy everything we think we know about constructing garments, and a radical palette of black, white and grey. As models walked to music by Amy Winehouse and Beck—with pop art prints of legends Hendrix, Bowie and Prince emblazoned onto their shirts—it was clear the collection was enough to make the eclectic icons proud. Singh also threw in spring’s biggest trends: polka dots, stripes, and metallic accents. What threw us for a loop were his crinkle-fabric blazer and skirt that deviated from Singh’s uniform order.
For Payal Jain’s 25th spring collection, the designer found inspiration in Mexican painter, feminist, and surrealist Frida Kahlo. Just like the artist’s work, Jain infused a rainbow-rich palette into her folky embroidered shawls, exotic statement jewelry, and bohemian mash-up of high necks and maxi dresses. What struck us most was Jain’s attention to detail—ensuring that Kahlo’s presence was felt in everything from the hair and makeup, to the runway and backdrop. The final outcome was a presentation as colorful as it’s counterpart—and we’re not talking about Frida.
Huemn falls into the category of designers whose agenda is not to simply sell pretty clothes, but to express a greater message—whether it be political, social, or artistic. Shyma Shetty and Pranav Mishra have never been the type to conform to rules or fashion trends—yet, their collections remain relevant. Perhaps, it’s their devil-may-care refusal to beat around the bush. So what was behind the zombie apocalypse makeup and models “leading the blind”? Our theory: The concept of bringing “dead” clothes back to life, as upcycling continues to be an important issue for the design duo. Check out our live interview with the designers here.
Some designers look to the future when producing innovative collections, but textile designer Madhu Jain looked back on 200 years of Indian history steeped in rich tradition and skilled craftsmanship. Models draped in all-black or all-ivory bamboo-silk fabric outstretched their arms to display dupattas with stark tribal motifs and contrasting Jain temple paintings that were dyed from natural pigment. The winning combination—made even more striking with gold and silver weaves—was nothing short of arresting.
All three menswear collections on the last day of AIFW SS18 deserve their due (Ashish & Soni, Pawan Sachdeva and Noughtone), but one collection we’re still thinking about is Dhruv Vaish. The designer brought all the spring feels with his palette of bubblegum pink, baby blue, and light grey in lightweight cotton and linen fabrics. Topping off this look were matching bum bags worn cross-shoulder—both on the inside and outside of preppy belted blazers. Perfectly proportioned silhouettes and clean lines were juxtaposed with asymmetrical hemlines and jacket closures. If we could choose any style we’d gladly borrow from our boyfriend’s closet, well, we’d choose them all (trousers included).
What happens when you bring together six of India’s most notable designers for the AIFW SS18 finale? Spontaneous combustion, that’s what. The grand affair was a sensory overload of sequins, crystals, sheer fabrics, feathers, beading, and any other heavy embellishments you can imagine. Suneet Varma ended the finale with a whopping 37 ensembles to commemorate 30 years in the business. Models walked to the pumping beat of music around a set that was beyond extra. Then, the finale finished with an intense LED light show that only furthered feelings of being at a rave. The message from both AIFW fashion week and the finale designers was clear: go big or go home. The mirrored runway later turned into a dance floor replete with DJ booth where the after-party was held. What better way to celebrate an extravagant week of fashion?
From the front row at #AIFWSS18 #Season30 #AIFW
Posted by MissMalini on Sunday, October 15, 2017
Check out SS18’s biggest trends here.
What was your favourite collection from AIFW SS18? Tell us in the comments below!